Top ChoicePark in Rio de Janeiro

Parque Nacional da Tijuca

Parque Nacional da Tijuca

The Tijuca is all that's left of the Atlantic rainforest that once surrounded Rio de Janeiro. This 39-sq-km tropical-jungle preserve is an exuberant green, with beautiful trees, creeks and waterfalls, mountainous...

Top ChoiceMountain in Botafogo, Humaitá & Urca

Pão de Açúcar

Pão de Açúcar

Seen from the peak of Pão de Açúcar, Rio is undoubtedly a Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City). There are many good times to make the ascent, but sunset on a clear day is the most rewarding. Two cable cars connect...

Top ChoiceBeach in Copacabana & Leme

Copacabana Beach

Copacabana Beach

A magnificent confluence of land and sea, the long, scalloped beach of Copacabana extends for some 4km, with a flurry of activity along its length: over-amped soccer players singing their team's anthem; cariocas...

Top ChoiceBeach in Ipanema & Leblon

Ipanema Beach

Ipanema Beach

One long stretch of sun-drenched sand, Ipanema Beach is demarcated by postos (posts), which mark off subcultures as diverse as the city itself. Posto 9, right off Rua Vinícius de Moraes, is where Rio’s most lithe...

Top ChoiceMonument in Flamengo & Around

Cristo Redentor

Cristo Redentor

Standing atop Corcovado (which means ‘hunchback’), Cristo Redentor gazes out over Rio, a placid expression on his well-crafted face. The mountain rises straight up from the city to 710m, and at night the brightly...

Top ChoiceStadium in Zona Norte

Maracanã Football Stadium

Rio’s Maracanã stadium is hallowed ground among football lovers. The massive arena has been the site of legendary victories and crushing defeats. Maracanã played a starring role in the 2014 World Cup when it...

Top ChoiceGardens in Gávea, Jardim Botânico & Lagoa

Jardim Botânico

Jardim Botânico

This exotic 137-hectare garden, with more than 8000 plant species, was designed by order of the Prince Regent Dom João (later to become Dom João VI) in 1808. The garden is quiet and serene on weekdays and...

Top ChoiceCultural Center in Gávea, Jardim Botânico & Lagoa

Instituto Moreira Salles

Instituto Moreira Salles

This beautiful cultural center hosts impressive exhibitions, often showcasing the works of some of Brazil's best photographers and artists. The gardens, complete with artificial lake and flowing river, were...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Centro & Praça Mauá

Museu Histórico Nacional

Housed in the colonial arsenal, which dates from 1764, the impressive Museu Histórico Nacional contains relics relating to the history of Brazil from its founding to its early days as a republic. Highlights...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Centro & Praça Mauá

Museu de Arte do Rio

Museu de Arte do Rio

Looming large over Praça Mauá, the MAR is an icon for the rebirth of Rio's once derelict port. The huge museum hosts wide-ranging exhibitions that focus on Rio in all its complexity – its people, landscapes,...

Top ChoiceLake in Gávea, Jardim Botânico & Lagoa

Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas

Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas

One of the city’s most picturesque spots, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas is encircled by a 7.2km walking and cycling path. Bikes are available for hire from stands along the east side of the lake, as are paddle boats....

Top ChoiceLandmark in Santa Teresa & Lapa

Escadaria Selarón

Escadaria Selarón

One of Rio's best-loved attractions, the steps leading up from Joaquim Silva became a work of art when Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón decided to cover them with colorful mosaics. A dedication to the Brazilian...

Cable Car in Santa Teresa & Lapa

Bonde

The bonde is the last of the historic streetcars that once crisscrossed the city. Its romantic clatter through the cobbled streets is the archetypal sound of bohemian Santa Teresa. Currently the bonde travels...

Area in Centro & Praça Mauá

Boulevard Olímpico

Rio's formerly derelict port district has been reborn as a wide promenade lined with massive street art. A handful of renowned artists have painted spectacular murals on the old warehouses, though Brazilian...

Gardens in Barra da Tijuca & West of Rio

Sítio Burle Marx

This 35-hectare estate was once the home of Brazil's most famous landscape architect, Roberto Burle Marx. The estate's lush vegetation includes thousands of plant species, some of which are rare varieties from...

Viewpoint in Ipanema & Leblon

Ponta do Arpoador

At the far eastern end of Av Vieira Souto, this rocky point juts out into the water and serves as one of Rio's best places for watching the sunset. Throughout the day, you'll spot fishers casting off the rock,...

Park in Gávea, Jardim Botânico & Lagoa

Parque Lage

This beautiful park lies at the base of the Floresta da Tijuca, about 1km from Jardim Botânico. It has English-style gardens, little lakes, and a mansion that houses the Escola de Artes Visuais (School of Visual...

Aquarium in Centro & Praça Mauá

AquaRio

The largest aquarium in South America is Rio's newest major downtown attraction. You can get an up-close look at some 350 different species (there are more than 8000 animals in all), spread among two dozen...

Museum in Santa Teresa & Lapa

Museu Chácara do Céu

The former mansion of art patron and industrialist Raymundo Ottoni de Castro Maya contains a small but diverse array of modern art, formerly Ottoni's private collection, which he bequeathed to the nation. In...

Landmark in Santa Teresa & Lapa

Arcos da Lapa

Arcos da Lapa

A much-photographed symbol of Lapa, the arches date back to the mid-18th century, when the structure served as an aqueduct to carry water from the Carioca River to downtown Rio. In a style reminiscent of ancient...